Just in Time for Christmas

Everyday Adventures

So, back in September I’d posted a picture of a sweet little wrapping job I’d done on a small gift box. Remember?

A request was placed that I show you how it was done and it’s been on my to-do list ever since. I apologize for the delay, but I hope you’ll agree that this is just the perfect time of year for this sort of thing, what with all the gift giving going on.

(Direct link for the feed readers: Rose-Wrap Tissue-Wrapped Gift Wrapping Tutorial)

Now there is a little bit of math involved, but that’s only so you know how wide your tissue paper needs to be in order to have the petal-ish bits be not too short or not too long (though you can always fix the long with a few snips).

I promise it’s simple:

[Width of the box (along the top) + Height of the box (along the side)] x 3 = Width of your tissue paper

See, simple! Theoretically you could wrap any box like this as long as you could get tissue paper wide enough. (As far as length’s concerned, you just want it to be fairly long–enough to go around the entire package 3-4 times.)

So, for the video my gift box was about 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch tall (3.5+1=4.5) and so 3 times that was 13 1/2 inches (4.5 x 3=13.5). I rounded up to be on the safe side and trimmed my tissue paper to 14 inches (and since the paper was folded in half, you see me measuring only 7 inches in the video).

I promise, that’s all of the technical know-how, the rest is squishing and scrunching and playing with paper!

This “rose” came out looking less rose-ish than my first one, but it still gets the point across, so don’t worry about getting a perfect flower look, just do your best and I’m sure the giftee will love it!

Wrap It Up!

Everyday Adventures, Projects

2 Ways to Dress Up a Boring, Square Box

When I decided to give one of the paper brooches as a birthday gift, I needed to wrap it up quickly before I saw her again. Thankfully I had a suitable box handy, now I just needed to wrap it. Reaching for the tissue paper, this is what I came up with:

I really need to start taking pictures when I do this, but I never know how it’s going to turn out when I start!

I started by wrapping the box in a long piece of tissue paper several times. Just rolled it up like a piece of candy with plenty of extra paper on each end. Then I pulled both of the ends up and towards the center, pinching it together a bit. It was at this point that I realized the upturned ends of the paper kinda looked like petals, so I grabbed some clear tape and secured the center, then fluffed the “petals” a little, crunching those that were longer, and separating the layers to give the impression of lots and lots of petals.

While that was pretty good on it’s own, it needed a little something, so I took two lengths of green ribbon and tied them around the base of the flower. Then I hand-cut and decorated a tag in the shape of a leaf, attached it with the ribbons, and knotted the hanging ribbon ends to make it look pretty.

And to open the gift? It’s tissue paper so it’s very easy to tear through the back of the paper, slip out the box, and leave the pretty flower intact!


The next week I decided on a spur-of-the-moment gift for another friend–our DM at the DDE sessions on Wednesday night and our season was coming to an end–but it, again, equated to a boring square.

I just stuck with a straightforward wrapping job on the gift in gold tissue paper, and turned the card into a scroll for kicks. To make the tag, I drew and cut out a d20 (20-sided die) of red cardstock, and cut two small slits at the top and bottom to slip the tails of the ribbon through, then added the “to” and “from” to the back of the tag.

Hint: With this sort of decorative closure, it helps to tie the ribbon in a loop, first, then roll the scroll a little smaller, slip it through, and let it unfurl to fill the space. Otherwise you’re just juggling a bunch paper and ribbon and you might as well be trying to dress an octopus in a onesie.

Drawing of how to make your own tissue bag

Project | Tissue and Washi Gift Bag


This project originally appeared in the July Gauche Alchemy Newsletter. I’ve been writing as part of the Gauche team of Alchemists for 3 months now and am constantly floored by the amount of creativity in the projects I get to write up every week. If you’re ever at a loss for inspiration or want a creative shot in the arm, the Gauche Alchemy blog and newsletter is a sure-fired way to get it!


For Mother’s Day, this year, I found a book full of pretty pictures of dressed-up French Bulldogs that I knew she’d get a kick out of. Wrapping a book is kind of boring, though, so I thought I’d use a package of yellow tissue paper I found in the hall closet (heaven only knows when I bought it, but Mom’s favorite color is yellow, so, score!).

Of course I couldn’t find the tape. Whatever I did with it the last time I used it, I definitely didn’t put it back in my dry adhesives drawer. BUT! I could easily locate my new stash of Washi Tape from Gauche Alchemy and there was a pretty green and yellow floral tape that would match perfectly.

What is washi tape? It’s patterned masking tape, sometimes also called paper tape, that is very fun to work with. I just like using it in place of plain tape for various things around the house (makes the mundane more fun) but it’s great for scrapbooking and general craft purposes, too.

My small collection of washi tape

Or, as Mom put it, it’s makes you look even more artsy-fartsy than you are.

Gee, thanks, Mom!

Anyway, I started out thinking I was just going to wrap it like any other present, but then I started to play, and this is what I ended up with.

The front view of my tissue gift bag

I realize the point of using a gift bag is to make wrapping easier, and that making your own bag out of the tissue paper that’s usually stuffed inside as filler defeats the purpose, but I promise this is really quick and simple while creating major impact.

Since I wasn’t planning on this being anything of consequence when I started, I didn’t take step-by-step pictures. Instead,  I drew you some pictures to explain how i made it.

Drawing of how to make your own tissue bag

Start by spreading your tissue paper out and placing the book on one side (figure 1) and folding the other side up to cover it. In order to obscure the book title I had to use all 5 sheets of tissue paper–this was a good idea considering the end result. Then fold up the bottom corners (figure 2) and and the sides into the center (figure3), taping each seam with the washi tape (figure 4).

Fringe the extra paper at the top of the package (figure 5, this was the point when it started resembling a bag, to me) and fold down the outer layers of the fringe (figure 6). Because of the folding there were, essentially, 3 layers of tissue fringe at the top of the package, so folding the outer layers of the front and back left a center section that resembled the tissue fringe usually poking out of traditional gift bags. To keep the folded layers of tissue down, I added a length of washi tape, folded over, along the top edge (figure 7).

Side of the tissue gift bag, reinforced by washi, and strung with a ribbon handle.

The only thing left was to add a handle! Since we’re dealing with tissue paper, here, I thought it would be a good idea to reinforce the ends of the “bag” with 3 layers of washi tape folded over the top edge (so 6 layers of tape, total, figure 8), punch a hole in each side (figure 9), and thread some wide ribbon through each hole and double knot it on the outside of the bag. I wouldn’t say it would hold up to a lot of weight, but it did it’s job admirable.

Back of the tissue bag with a quilt block-style pattern of washi tape

After the bag was made I decided it needed a little dressing up. For the front I kept it simple, just making a square of the tape to frame in the shape. On the back, where the functional taping was, I filled in the “starburst”-style pattern that the first 3 lines suggested, then framed it in with more tape. The end result was a little more like a quilt square.

Of course, when we got to dinner and Mom tried to remove the book without destroying the bag, we discovered it’s a good idea to leave a little wiggle-wiggle-wiggle room when folding the sides (figures 2 & 3). I eventually got the book out without tearing the wrapping, but a little forethought would have made it easier.

You craft and you learn, right?


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